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Tips For Forgiving Yourself For Mistakes In The Past
1. Acknowledge What You’ve Done
Don’t avoid, deny, or rationalize your actions; to forgive yourself, you must first cultivate the maturity and the humility to accept responsibility.
This means you must acknowledge the full scope and weight of what you’ve done. Even if you didn’t act alone in the misdeed, there can be no blame-shifting.
2. Recognize The Impact Your Actions Had On Others
Next, shift your focus outward to recognize the impact that your actions have had on others, which requires a lot of courage and self-control.
Make a committed effort to understand the pain you've caused while respecting the boundaries of those you’ve hurt without resisting or downplaying their charges.
3. Also Recognize The Impact Of Your Transgression On You
When we hurt others, we often hurt ourselves, too; there may be tangible consequences or something more abstract, like feelings of guilt and shame for what you’ve done.
By learning to feel self-compassion for the pain you’ve caused yourself and recognizing you’ve behaved in a way that’s inconsistent with your beliefs, you can achieve reformation.
4. Humble Yourself
To forgive yourself, you must recognize your humanity and, thus, your frailty and imperfections. This means overcoming your sense of perfectionism, which can feel impossible.
When we inevitably make mistakes, a sense of perfectionism can make us feel negligent, lazy, or foolish, rather than letting us see our actions as forgivable human mistakes.
5. Understand The Underlying Cause
By understanding why you’ve done something, you can better avoid ever doing it again. Every action has a payoff, and to truly reform, you've got to figure out what your payoff was.
For example, if you lie on a job application, the underlying reason might be that you’re insecure about your credentials and unconsciously want to conceal a sense of inferiority.